Human rights lawyer arrested again after reform speech

Human rights lawyer Anon Nampa was arrested again last night (19 August) because of his participation in the Harry Potter-themed protest on 3 August.

Police officers delivering Anon's arrest warrant at the Criminal Court

Anon was arrested at the Bangkok Criminal Court where he had been conducting a case at around 20.00 last night, and taken to Chana Songkhram Police Station. Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) said that Anon was accused of sedition and of violating the Public Assembly Act, the Sound Amplifier Act, and the Computer Crimes Act.

As Anon still has to conduct a case today (20 August), he and his lawyer negotiated bail with the police, using 150,000 baht and Move Forward Party MP Rangsiman Rome’s MP status as security. However, the inquiry officer refused bail, claiming that they are not done questioning and gathering evidence, and that they are concerned that Anon will flee.

A crowd of around 30 – 50 people gathered at the police station to show support for Anon. They shouted “free Anon!” and sang “Happy Birthday,” as it was Anon’s birthday the day before.

The crowd in front of the Chana Songkhram Police Station also read out Anon's speech on monarchy reform, given at the protest on 3 August. 

By 23.30, some of the people who had gathered at Chana Songkhram Police Station moved to Samranrat Police Station to show support for Baramee Chairat, coordinator of the Assembly of the Poor, who was also arrested earlier that night due to his participation in the 18 July protest.

Activists Suwanna Tanlek and Korakot Saengyenpan were also arrested last night due their participantion in the 18 July protest, after they arrived at the Samranrat Police Station following Baramee's arrest. 

Activists Suwanna Tanlek and Korakot Saengyenpan were also arrested last night because of their participation in the 18 July protest. They were detained after they arrived at the Samranrat Police Station following Baramee's arrest. 

 

Five other people were arrested this morning in the same case: Rap Against Dictatorship member Dechathorn Bamrungmuang or “Hockhacker”; 19-year-old rapper Thanayut Na Ayuthaya, a member of Eleven Finger, a band from the Khlong Toey community; Thotsaphon Sinsombun, a student activist and a leader of the Free Youth Movement; Student activist Tanee Sasom, also a leader of the Free Youth Movement; and Nattawut Somboonsap, student activist and another leader of the Free Youth Movement.  

Anon was taken to the Criminal Court at around 11.00 today for a temporary detention request. At 16.45, the Court ruled to temporarily detain him. He and his lawyer are currently seeking bail.

TLHR reported that the steps up to the Criminal Court building were blocked this morning, and that there were around 70 police officers standing guard.

Officers have gone to search Anon's residence

At around 12.00 today (20 August), plainclothes and uniformed police officers and officers from the Technology Crime Suppression Division went to search Anon’s residence, along with a lawyer from TLHR, but did not find anything they deemed illegal or can be used as evidence.

Anon and student activist Panupong "Mike" Jadnok were previously arrested on 7 August and accused of sedition and of violating the Emergency Degree after they took part in the mass protest on 18 July. Both were released on bail the next day.

At the Harry Potter-themed protest on 3 August, which took place at the Democracy Monument, Anon gave a speech calling for monarchy reform and open criticism of the crown. He has also spoken on the same topic at another demonstration in Chiang Mai and at the demonstration at Thammasat University’s Rangsit campus on 10 August.

Update: 

At 18.34, Anon and the eight other activists were released on bail with 100,000 baht as security, but the Court did not require them to pay the security. 

The Court also imposed a requirement that they do not repeat the actions of which they are accused and ordered them to appear in court again on 7 October.